Zonta Club of the Pikes Peak Area
Ponderings from the Prez
Bits from Betty
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Dates to Remember
September will always be a special month for Americans. This September 11 was a milestone and after a great emotional sigh, we are back to work and ever more proud to be citizens of this great country. The stories we have seen on TV and read and heard about make your heart swell with pride. Despite the horror and tragedy, we have all grown and in a sense, become better people for our suffering. We will always have a choice as to what we take from a situation, even one as horrendous as September 11.
September also reminds us that it is literacy month. "Some people even go so far as to consider prohibited or confiscated books to be the best ones of all, for the prohibition indicates that their authors wrote what they really thought rather than what they were supposed to think," wrote Johonn Lorenz Schmidt in 1741. The theme of Banned Books Week is "Celebrate Your Freedom to Read." The essential message is the importance of ensuring the availability of those unorthodox or unpopular viewpoints to all who wish to read them. Many of our fellow Zontian sisters in other countries are not as lucky as we who have free basic education for everyone. Let's not forget to treasure our freedoms as Americans. Literacy is a gift to nearly every citizen in the U. S. Our September speaker reminded us that not everyone is equally successful; some need private help. Thanks to all of you who volunteered to be reading tutors. Your generosity will make a real difference to those students.
Earlene Herman tried to make a real difference for Susie and me. We loved our session on using color to our best advantage. And now my colors are packed for the district conference. Western denim for Friday night, pink in honor of breast cancer for Saturday morning, a bright international outfit for Saturday evening, and a more somber outfit for Sunday's memorial service. I can't wait. I wish you were all going with us to Cheyenne. You'll get a full report from Gail Piper, our delegate, at our October meeting.
On October 21 bring your favorite ethnic dish to celebrate our international connections. We'll start at 6 p.m. Our speaker is Anabela Crooks from Panama, but she works for Human Resources at Colorado Springs Utilities and her talk is titled "Adapting to Change." She'll have good advice for all of us.
Information includes the "Most Frequently Challenged Classics"
Like many of you in the Pikes Peak Area Zonta Club, the month of September has reminded me of our mission and the objects of Zonta due to the 9/11 anniversary. In keeping with these thoughts I recently attended a symposium at Colorado College focusing on, September 11: One Year Later, Responding to Global Challenges. In particular, the Zonta objective to 'promote justice and universal respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms' has led me to learn what I can about issues affecting world peace. In this instance, the peace of the world is threatened by the conflict in Israel and Palestine.
There were two keynote speakers, both of whom are in the academic world and also are active politically. Dr. Hanan Ashrawi is founder and secretary general of the Palestinian Initiative for the Promotion of Global Dialogue and Democracy, and is an elected member of the Palestinian Legislative Council. She is a Christian. Dr. Gideon Doron is president of the Israeli Association of Political Science and has served as campaign strategist for Yitzhak Rabin in 1992. He is Jewish. Both speakers have suffered poverty and violence.
It was amazing how many things they agreed upon. For instance, they both appear to be for accountability, civil society, global dialogue, two-state solution, pluralism, democracy, collective responsibility, altruism, tolerance, respect, and a right to know. They both seem to be against violence, hate, poverty, terrorism, suicide bombing, the fact that God is said to be or to take sides in conflicts, illiteracy, military occupation, victimization, revenge, and violence.
Dr. Nanan Ashrawi
Dr. Ashrawi states emphatically that she has never succumbed to hate and has never accepted any kind of revenge as a motivation. She doesn't believe that violence will solve anything. She contends that globalization led to the events of 9/11 and that the path followed now will have profound effects on the future of the world. There are two possibilities of actions now. One is lashing out in pain and saying that revenge is justified no matter what, resorting to unilateralism and military means. Another one is by understanding that by a drawing together of a human community, there is a shared collective responsibility to ensure that this never happens again to anybody anywhere in the world.
She feels there must be risks taken for peace just as some people are so quick to take risks for war. She includes the Palestinian-Israeli conflict that she feels is the major source of instability in her part of the world. There is the suggestion that there are several avenues that could solve conflicts:
International law and a commitment to justice
A global rule of law that provides a system of accountability equally to all
Recourses which means a judicial system
Arbitration and intervention before hostilities and conflicts evolve
Dr. Ashrawi points out that the Palestinians have always yearned for self-determination, independence, freedom, a life of dignity and recognition. She feels that this is the solution that could provide the whole region with stability. She supports the UN's involvement even though she recognizes it is not perfect but so far it is the source of legitimacy that must be addressed.
She doesn't feel God takes sides or that God should be brought into the conflict. Perhaps we need to start using weapons of mass-construction in an effort to build a comprehensive peace. Ultimately she believes that peace is the most basic and the most pervasive and the most compelling human right.
The nature of peace with Israel is to her very simple. Implement UN resolutions, accept the '67 boundaries. Israel will have 78 percent of historical Palestine as its boundaries as a state, recognized within the region. Palestine will be on 22 percent of the remaining historical Palestine, which is the West Bank including East Jerusalem and Gaza. Also the refugee question has to be resolved on the basis of international law and precedent.
"Listen all, there is no way, no way, in which this conflict can continue. It has to be resolved. The price has been enormous and tragic. And anybody who has any sense - moral commitment, political understanding - will do whatever is possible to end this conflict, to end this occupation and to give both peoples room to live, to prosper, to grow, and to put an end to the war mongering and the politics of control that we have seen for so long."
Dr. Gideon Doron
Dr. Doron pointed out the differences in the actions and abilities of the two countries over the last 40 years. Israel is considered a success story among the family of nations. They lead the world with their sophisticated high-tech technology. They have no natural resources except their people. So personal motivation, hard word, social responsibility and some government and individual initiatives were conducive for their remarkable advancement.
He states that while this advancement was going on in Israel, many of the Palestinians were sitting over 50 years of transition in refugee camps. Instead of taking command over their lives, they preferred to depend on outside financial support and blame Israel for their misery.
Israel has agreed again and again, since 1993 to withdraw from all of the occupied lands once peace is obtained. Arafat refused to sign. How does he explain what is going on? Here are a few of his comments.
1. We tend to forget who is responsible for the violence. It is Palestinian strategy for civilian deaths by bombings.
2. We tend to forget the cost of terrorism because it is diffused. While it directly affects some, it indirectly affects everyone. In Israel, there is a terrorist tax to support the costs of walls, security efforts, etc.
3. He fails to understand what the Palestine leadership really wants. Everything they asked for in the Oslo Agreement was promised. The only thing asked in return was for a formal commitment and public declaration to be made by Arafat that because all the Palestinian demands were met, he would call for termination of the conflict. Arafat refused.
4. Nobody in Israel is talking about development of trust between the Israelis and Palestinians, which was the basic ingredient of the Oslo Agreement. Instead we are talking about the size of the walls that we should build so as to separate and protect us from these people.
He has three scenarios of what can happen now.
1. Optimistic: bargaining is a long process that will end when all claims and demands of the parties involved will be satisfied. This assumes that the conflict is just over territories and thus sooner or later a solution will be reached.
2. Simple one, contains some hope: Some revolutionary leaders, like Arafat, are rigid terrorists who cannot or do want to make a conversion into institutional leaders. He does not want to become a leader of a small poor country, albeit independent. The more Israelis they kill, the higher respect they obtain among the Palestinians and more volunteers they can recruit. By having a common enemy, Israel, he is preserving his leadership. He has always left his options open because to end the conflict would mean to end himself.
3. More complicated, a clash between different perceptions of the future: the Israelis have lost their faith in the intentions of the other side and have one main goal of protecting themselves and their children. They feel that this conflict will not end in the near future.
Dr. Doron believes that the conflict between Palestine and Israel is not the main source of instability in the Middle East. Mr. Arafat has been upset form his first place in the international media by a new champion of the sky - Mr. Bin Laden followed by Mr. Saddam Hussein. It appears from Dr. Doron's comments that Israel occupies territories to control the terrorism. Since Arafat chooses not to do it, they must. Perhaps when Arafat is gone, peace can be accomplished.
"I would therefore like to suggest that to finance the global dialogue organization, Dr. Ashrawi should talk to her leader, Arafat. She should ask him to give her the money that he falsely obtained as a Nobel Prize for Peace winner. He's no winner. He will never win."
For complete text of the two speeches see:
"Remember, Ginger Rogers did everything Fred Astaire did,
but she did it backwards and in high heels."
Order your nuts from Pat Kosley by October 4th!Northern Nut Growers Association Nut Recipes
Flanigan Farms Nut Recipes
All About Pecans
Women and the UN System
|October 4-6||2002 District Conference Cheyenne, WY|
|October 21||5:30 pm Board Meeting - Gold Hills Substation|
|October 21||6:00 pm General Meeting:|
|July 3-8||2004 International Convention - New York City|
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